AT the end of the year 2018, Ben Phillips gathered 16 packrafters for a 12-day self supported trip down the Colorado river in the Grand Canyon.
- First of all, you need a permit. It’s not easy to get one (it’s a lottery). Once you have it, you need to organize all the required gear because a ranger will check everything at the put-in. And the list is pretty long.
- Going on a 12-day packrafting trip is awesome but tiring; every day you have to break camp, pack all your gear, put on some wet and cold clothes and get into your boat.
- You need to learn what a “groover” is. And please, don’t pee in it, pee in the river.
- All you gear goes inside the tubes of your boat and you have to pack smart (but you can still bring a couple cheeky beers!)
- The water is BIG. Expect to swim. A lot. But even though the holes are huge, very few of them are sticky. So it always felt relatively safe to swim.
- Zigzag a lot in the rapids to avoid holes. Holes are huge but very few of them are sticky.
- Each campsite is special. At night in the desert, glow-in-the-dark Bocce (like lawn bowls) is a must-have.
A massive thanks to Ben Phillips for the invite, the planning and the guiding, you’re a legend, man!
Thanks to all the members of this amazing group of human beings for making this trip an unforgettable experience: Will, Lindsay, Jed, Jacob, Caj, Katja, Doom, Dustin, Tyler, Molly, Konstantin, Jonathan, Aubrey, Armida.
Thanks Alpacka Raft for the awesome boats!
Drawings and text by Jeremie Lamart, additional picture (Lava Falls) by Jacob Kaastrup Haagensen, pics used for gifs by Tyler Marlow.